Here's an "after" that doesn't have a matching "before." We've got an open house, early '70s vintage, completely woodified—no white walls.
We wanted to stay as natural as possible. Bisque appliances, not stainless steel, retro though it may be. Granite countertops, because after considering various possibilities we realized that nothing looks as stone-like as real stone.
You couldn't call our tastes sophisticated. Hey, we live on ten acres in the south Salem countryside. Poultry art is what we proudly display in the revamped island area that faces our living room.
I was wary about this whole kitchen remodeling thing. Laurel was the force that got the Remodel Train moving down the track. If it had been up to me, I'd have left it on a siding.
Our old kitchen seemed fine. Just like my old couch—my beloved couch—that got sent to Salvation Army heaven soon after we got married seventeen years ago. Laurel usually prevails on home decorating issues. Mostly I sign on the "head of household" line, but I'm still trying to figure out what in the household I head up.
Probably for good reason. Because Laurel was right and I was wrong about remodeling the kitchen. I love what Oregon Bath and Kitchen has wrought. These guys have our unreserved endorsement. They were a pleasure to work with, from Randy the head honcho designer/estimator to every member of Arne's construction crew.
The oven and microwave used to be in a structure on the right side of the island. That got taken out, so now the only island appliance is a cooktop. This opened up the kitchen to the living room. Now we can perch on the left side of the island, enjoying the view from the living room windows.
Before, the far end of the kitchen just, well, ended. We had a dresser against the wall. Now the kitchen cabinets and floor extend all the way to the stairs. The display cabinet was Randy's idea. A good one. Gives the geese something to look at.
Our panty used to be functional, but just barely. The sliding doors stopped sliding smoothly a long time ago. Paper recycling bags filled the countertop. Now we have pull-out shelves on the left side.
The right side used to feature open shelves. Now we've got a hidden place to put the recycling stuff. And the dog food. The dog bowls are still displayed in plain sight. Serena wouldn't have it any other way.
Laurel hated the spice shelves above our old cooktop. For some reason she likes sliding doors that actually slide smoothly. Plus it bothered her that wooden shelves were above a couple of burners. I sort of enjoyed living on the flammable edge. However, I'm much happier with our new look. And enjoyed arranging the spices in alphabetical order in the tall skinny shelves.
So we're happy remodeling campers. We did, though, have an emergency backup kitchen in another part of the house to use during the construction work. Without that, we'd have been hot plate'ing and take out'ing it like most people have to.
The only significant remodeling glitch was almost entirely our fault. We picked some wall tiles that turned out to be ghastly. After half of them were put in and the crew had gone home for the day we stood and stared at the almost-finished kitchen and said to each other, "Oh my God! What have we done??!!"
A frantic email and phone call to Randy soon followed. "Whatever it takes, we've got to replace those tiles," we told him. Fortunately, it didn't take much. The guys pulled them off in a few minutes.
It took an hour or so of browsing in the Oregon Bath and Kitchen showroom to choose a replacement. Which turned out great. We thought the black accent tiles would look good, and they do. Arne had the excellent idea to add a second row of accents.
Laurel hasn't mentioned any other remodeling projects recently. But like they say in the old Westerns, "It's quiet. Too quiet." I know her brain is cogitating away on the upstairs bathroom. The old tub seems fine to me. Not to her, though.
But what do I know? Like she never fails to remind me, I'd still have my old couch if decorating decisions had been left up to the titular "head of the household."
Man, I loved that couch. Like I love our bathtub. I'd better start saying goodbye to it though. Before too long I have a feeling that the pitter-patter (or thunking) of Oregon Bath and Kitchen feet is going to be heard in our home again.